"Violence always marks the end of a relationship..." --from the journals of convicted murderer Ira Einhorn
On days like this, when the wintry skies signal a chill, she stands at her kitchen window looking out onto the rolling Tarrant County pasture where a couple of mares leisurely feed on the rain-greened grass. And a memory nearing a quarter century old comes rushing back for Elisabeth (Buffy) Hall.
Speaking in a soft, raspy voice, the 41-year-old mother of two recalls a long ago high school-sponsored trip abroad that provided a surprise opportunity to briefly see her older sister, who was visiting London. There, as they spoke of friends and family, of old times as children growing up in Tyler, Texas, as they assured each other of their respective well-being, Hall had no way of knowing it was the last time she would see Helen (Holly) Maddux alive.
Or that soon one of the driving forces in her life and those of her siblings would be a seemingly endless demand for justice that has been glacially slow in coming.
Just a matter of days after Hall saw Holly, eldest of the five Maddux children, one-time John Tyler High School honor student, cheerleader and graduate of Bryn Mawr University, her sister disappeared. Eighteen months later, in March 1979, her mummified body, grotesquely withered from 110 to just 37 pounds, was found inside a steamer trunk hidden away in the padlocked closet of her Philadelphia lover. The medical examiner's report indicated she had suffered at least six blows to the head "with an inordinate amount of force."
Arrested and charged with murder was Ira Einhorn, a controversial Philly celebrity whom Maddux had, during that long ago London visit, told her then 16-year-old sister she was planning to leave. "She told me that day that she was going to return to the United States and begin a new life which did not include Ira," Buffy Hall remembers. "When I got home and told my parents, they were so thrilled they wanted to dance in the street."
Finally, the Maddux family had reason to believe, the disastrous and destructive five-year relationship Holly had fallen into was coming to an end. But not in the nightmarish manner that haunts them to this day.
During the next two decades, Holly Maddux's murder would take them along a Byzantine course through court appearances and Einhorn's flight abroad; through his conviction of the crime in a trial at which he was not even present; and through years of frustrating silence during which his whereabouts were not known. Even when he was ultimately located, living in a remote French village, there would be a still-ongoing battle with an international legal system that today allows him to remain free from the life sentence he has been dealt. It would become a story watched over as a generation has come of age; a story that cries out for finality.
It was, in retrospect, a pairing that seemed as improbable as it was passionate.
Young Holly, pretty and smart enough to be eligible for Mensa membership, eager to break the bonds of her quiet Texas upbringing, ignored the pleas of her conservative, authoritarian father to consider enrolling at Texas A&M and traveled east. Leaving the Class of '65 behind, she wanted to explore an outside world that included a more intellectual, freethinking lifestyle. "She was," reflects former John Tyler classmate Jim Rex, "probably 10 years ahead of everybody else in her thinking." While most of her classmates were content with the traditional southern mindset of Texas teenagers--dating, football games, pop music, and leisurely good times--she supplemented her academic successes with studies of ballet and judo, art and synchronized swimming.
In October 1972, having graduated from Bryn Mawr with a fine arts degree and in the process of determining the next step in her life, the petite blonde was introduced to Einhorn in a Philadelphia restaurant where the local celebrity often held court. Two weeks later, she moved into his apartment, beginning a volatile relationship that, according to friends, was equal parts love and hate, always controlled by the enigmatic and charismatic Einhorn.
Seven years older, Einhorn, a Philadelphia native, was a product of and active participant in the drugs-sex-and-rock and roll movement of the '60s. While Holly Maddux expressed her modest delight in being named salutatorian and a class favorite at her Tyler high school, Ira Einhorn had flaunted his youthful rebellion by wearing jeans and tennis shoes instead of the traditional tuxedo to the Philadelphia Central High senior prom. By the time he'd earned his degree from the University of Pennsylvania, he was an advocate and spokesman for the growing drug culture. For good measure, Philadelphia's ego-driven answer to Abbie Hoffman and Allen Ginsberg wrote and lectured on subjects ranging from the environment to his belief in UFOs, the ills of the Vietnam War to quantum physics, the paranormal to the benefits of LSD use. The bearded, longhaired hippie-turned-New Age guru authored a regular column for a local underground newspaper, and would sign his rambling, over-written essays "The Unicorn." At one time the man who delighted in referring to himself as a "planetary enzyme" even ran a half-hearted campaign for mayor of Philadelphia.
What propelled him from local oddity to full-blown avant-garde celebrity, however, was his involvement in the organizing and staging of Earth Day, a highly publicized celebration of environmental issues, in 1970. From that point his mainstream credibility grew--to a point where local Fortune 500 business leaders sought his advice and offered consultant contracts in exchange for his expertise on a variety of social issues. Harvard even summoned him to serve as a teaching fellow, lecturing students on the counter-culture of the day.
Thus Ira Einhorn, self-described pacifist and freethinker, had carved himself a high-profile niche. And through much of the '70s, girlfriend Holly Maddux alternately warmed to his fame while at the same time feeling it suffocated her own ambitions. Yet on the numerous occasions when she would be angered by Einhorn's domination, physical abuse, and regular infidelities and attempt to break away, the results were routinely the same. Promising change and devotion, Einhorn would lure her back--always to the disappointment of Holly's family.
Meg Wakeman, 44, a nurse now living in Seattle, recalls the first time she met the man ultimately convicted of killing her sister:
"She brought him to Tyler just once," Wakeman remembers, "and he went out of his way to be unpleasant to everyone. One evening as we sat down for dinner, he began eating and reaching across the table for food, even as my father was saying grace. Later, while we were sitting in the living room, Holly came in with the family photo album and asked Ira if he would like to see pictures of her when she was a child. He said, 'No, comb my hair.' I'll never forget the hurt look on Holly's face as she put the album aside and went to find a comb and brush. He just smiled, as if pleased that he'd shown everyone in the room that he was in complete control."
John Maddux, Holly's brother, 52, recalls Einhorn as "dirty and gross." "Everyone in the family was appalled," he says.
Wakeman also remembers a letter she received from her sister two years later, in summer 1977. "She wrote that she had decided to leave him and was so pleased that she'd finally realized that she was not only capable of living on her own, but really looking forward to it."
That letter, she remembers, arrived shortly before her 30-year-old sister vanished.
"In Ira Einhorn's mind, he is the only individual in the world with real intelligence. The rest of us are supposed to sit at his feet, spellbound by his every nonsensical word..."
--John Maddux, Holly's brother
Even though their relationship had disintegrated into an ongoing litany of arguments and separations, Holly had, in 1977, reluctantly agreed to accompany Einhorn on a four-month research and lecture trip to Europe. Through Denmark, Sweden, and Norway they argued. Things grew worse as they arrived in London, and on July 28, just days after her brief visit with her younger sister, Holly finally asserted her independence and returned to the United States alone. Her plan, she told Einhorn, was to find an apartment and begin her life away from him.
As soon as Einhorn returned to Philadelphia, however, he began pressuring her to reconsider. When charm failed, he threatened to throw clothing she'd left behind into the street if she didn't immediately come to his apartment for her possessions. Once more she allowed herself to be lured back. On Saturday night, September 11, the couple apparently reconciled, double-dated with friends, and attended a movie in nearby New Jersey.
Then Holly Maddux disappeared.
In the days that followed, Einhorn's explanation would take on a mantra-like tone: He had, he said, been taking a bath when Holly decided to leave on a grocery-shopping trip to the nearby Ecology Food co-op. The next he heard from her was when she phoned two days later. "I'm okay," she allegedly said. "Don't look for me. I'll call you once a week." If Einhorn was distraught over his girlfriend's leave-taking he hid it well, continuing with his ambitious social and professional schedule.
In Tyler, however, genuine concern quickly mounted. "All her life," says Buffy Hall, "Holly had been good about staying in touch with the family. Then, suddenly, the letters and calls stopped. So did the hand-made cards she always sent us on our birthdays. There were three birthdays in the family in the month of October and no one heard from her."
When Liz Maddux phoned Einhorn to ask about her daughter, she got little information. Though he was unusually polite and expressed concern (pointing out that he'd called Holly's friends, hospitals, and the police when she did not return to his apartment), he expressed no real interest in attempting to find the young woman who had lived with him for five years. "I was left with the impression," Liz recalls of the 10-minute conversation, "that he felt she'd gone off somewhere to collect her thoughts and didn't want any of us to contact her."
By the time Christmas and New Year's Day passed without word, fear was growing within Holly's family. Her father, Fredrick, sought out retired Tyler FBI agent-turned-private investigator R.J. Stevens and hired him to find his daughter. The search would go on for more than a year, eventually broadening to include investigators, police, and the district attorney's office in Philadelphia.
Ultimately, statements by college students living in an apartment directly below Einhorn and the off-hand recollection of two of Ira's young female friends finally pointed the way to a resolution of the mystery:
For months after Holly's disappearance, the downstairs neighbors had attempted every chemical they could think of--ammonia, Lysol, bleach--to mask a growing stench emitting from a dark liquid that had oozed through the ceiling of their kitchen closet. One of the residents, a biology major, had even observed to his roommate that the smell was "much like that of dried blood." The odor, he suggested, was coming from the apartment above them. It would be months before the smell finally began to wane.
Then, there had been the September evening when Einhorn had asked the two teenage girls if they would help him haul a trunk allegedly filled with "secret Russian documents" to the nearby Schuylkill River where he planned to dump it. The young women, arguing that their car was too small to accommodate it, had refused.
Finally, acting on the information collected by investigators, Philadelphia police detective Mike Chitwood, accompanied by six uniformed officers, knocked on Einhorn's door on the morning of March 28, 1979, carrying a 35-page search warrant.
In his 1988 book on the case, The Unicorn's Secret, writer Steven Levy of Newsday deftly reconstructed what occurred that day at the 3411 Race Street apartment:
"Almost as if Chitwood had no interest in the apartment itself--though in fact he had never seen a place with so many books, and it held a strange fascination for him--he brushed aside the maroon blanket covering the French door. He walked purposefully to the closet, stopped, and contemplated the thick Master padlock on the door...The closet was 4-and-a-half-feet wide and 8-feet high, and a little less than 3-feet deep...Inside some of the boxes he saw were labeled 'Maddux.' On the floor was a green suitcase. On the handle was the name 'Holly Maddux' and a Texas address. Behind the suitcase on the closet floor was a large black steamer trunk...
"Michael Chitwood took off his suit jacket. He was now ready to open the trunk. The foul odor was now much stronger...Scooping away newspapers and a layer of Styrofoam and plastic bags, he at first could not make out what it was, because it was so wrinkled and tough. But then he saw the shape of it--wrist, palm, and five fingers, curled and frozen in their stillness. It was a human hand...He had seen enough."
The discovery of Holly Maddux's body and the arrest of Einhorn bumped even the potential nuclear disaster at nearby Three Mile Island from the lead position on the front page of the Philadelphia Daily News. "Hippie Guru Held in Trunk Murder," the banner headline read.
In Tyler, during a driving April rain, Holly Maddux was buried.
Meanwhile, Einhorn's explanation of the morbid discovery in his apartment was as vague as it was preposterous. The CIA and Soviet KGB, eager to shut down research he'd been doing on the military use of mind control, had sought to frame him, placing Maddux's body in his apartment. High-placed friends and devoted followers quickly spoke out, suggesting it was impossible that the colorful pacifist they so admired could have committed such a horrible crime.
Which served as a good indication that they knew nothing of the Unicorn's dark side. In journals taken from his apartment, the authorities found detailed recollections of previous violence. He had written of entering the college dorm room of one former girlfriend and strangling her until she passed out. In a fit of rage, he had hit another in the head with a Coke bottle, knocking her unconscious.
Represented by highly regarded defense attorney Arlen Specter, now the well-known U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania, Einhorn's bail was reduced from $100,000 to $40,000--his mother, Beatrice, put her house up as collateral for the paltry $4,000 he would actually have to post--and a January 1981 trial was set.
It was a date the defendant never intended to keep. On the eve of his pre-trial hearing, Einhorn fled the country.
The shattered Maddux family was left to deal with its grief and frustration. In 1988, Fred Maddux, the once proud and gregarious ex-member of the 82nd Airborne that had parachuted into Normandy on D-Day, took his own life. "He was depressed and angry," says daughter Buffy. "He just finally gave up. Through the last nine years of his life, he was racked with guilt, wondering if there was something he could have said or done to prevent Holly from going so far away from home. He never forgave himself."
Five months pregnant at the time of her father's death, Hall has gone through a routine of intense therapy in an effort to cope with the family tragedies and Einhorn's escape from justice. "For a long time," she says, "I didn't handle Holly's death at all well. I tried keeping it all inside and that was a disaster. Had I not had obligations to my own family, it would have been tough to even get out of bed."
Brother John, a former Marine and Vietnam veteran, retreated to a solitary life on a small farm on the outskirts of Alvarado. He never married. "Holly's death is something I've never been able to turn loose," he says. "Most people my age are now grandfathers. But I've felt for all these years that my life is just on hold. I've just gone through the motions."
The Maddux family's youngest, Mary, 38 and living in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, says she still fights an ongoing battle with the pain and anger she feels over Holly's death and the fact Einhorn still remains free.
Two years after Fred Maddux's suicide, his wife, Elizabeth, died. "Ira Einhorn not only killed our sister," Buffy Hall says. "He took our parents away as well."
"If it is necessary, I'll be old and in a wheelchair, still chasing him."
--Rich DiBenedetto, Philadelphia assistant District Attorney
Einhorn had fled to Ireland, which at the time had no extradition agreement with the U.S. There he settled into an apartment in Dublin. To his landlord, he was Ira Einhorn. To others in his new circle of friends and benefactors, he alternately introduced himself as a writer named "Ben Moore" and, on occasion, "Ian Morrison."
It would be three years before Philadelphia authorities learned of his whereabouts.
When the couple from whom he was renting his apartment announced they were planning a vacation trip to the U.S., the secretive Einhorn had specifically requested that they not mention his name to anyone during their American visit. Collette and Dennis Weaire--both troubled by the mood swings and secretive behavior they'd witnessed during his stay--chose to ignore the request and instead made plans to see what they could find out once they reached Chicago about the boarder living on the third floor of their brownstone.
Shortly after their arrival, in fact, a firecracker-like series of events transpired. Mrs. Weaire told a friend about their strange tenant. The friend contacted a reporter at the Chicago Sun-Times. In turn, that reporter got in touch with a fellow journalist working for the Philadelphia Inquirer who, naturally, knew the trunk murder story by heart.
Upon learning the facts of Einhorn's background, Dennis Weaire contacted the Irish Consulate in Chicago and was told to immediately get in touch with the FBI. Within a matter of days he was being shown a photograph of Einhorn and quickly identified it as a picture of the man living in his home.
In mid-October 1981, a Philadelphia police sergeant assigned to the case flew to Dublin with a two-fold purpose: He hoped to locate Einhorn and, more important, somehow convince the Irish authorities to allow him to be returned to the U.S. The trip proved to be a waste of time. Before the officer's arrival, the Unicorn had moved from the Weaires' apartment to parts unknown.
For the next few years, Richard DiBenedetto, an extraditions officer in the Philadelphia D.A.'s office, doggedly continued but without success the search for the accused murderer. His fugitive, it seemed, had simply vanished. Another five years would pass before DiBenedetto received word that his prey had again been sighted in Ireland, near the campus of Dublin's Trinity College, where, under an assumed name, he was teaching. Encouraged by the fact an extradition treaty with Ireland had recently been reinstated, authorities planned a trip abroad in hopes of arresting Einhorn. But, even before arrangements could be made in that summer of 1986, word came that Einhorn had abruptly decided to leave the country, his new destination unknown.
The frustration in both Philadelphia and Tyler had become a dull, ever-present ache as the '80s drew to a close with Einhorn still a free man. Finally, though, a tip that he was seen in Sweden with a wealthy woman named Annika Flodin resulted from a segment on the case aired by the television show America's Most Wanted. Stockholm police visited the address only to be told by Flodin that Einhorn no longer lived there. The trim, blond Swede, who bore a remarkable resemblance to Holly Maddux, soon disappeared herself.
The sighting of Einhorn in Sweden would be the last solid lead to cross DiBenedetto's desk for seven years.
Meanwhile, Philadelphia's district attorney decided to exercise a newly established judicial process. Einhorn, it was determined, would be tried in absentia; in effect, a murder trial would be conducted during which the defendant, though represented by counsel, would not be present during the proceedings.
Memories of the nine-day trial still haunt Buffy Hall. "Sitting in that courtroom, listening to the medical examiner detail the blows that Holly suffered--and even suggest that it was possible that she had still been alive when she was placed in that trunk--was one of the most difficult things I've ever experienced," she says. For weeks after, nightmares interrupted her sleep.
"Over time," she says, "your mind plays strange games. For whatever reason, I had always assumed Holly's death was the result of some fit of jealous rage. But hearing testimony that indicated Einhorn had done things like purchase the trunk just days earlier, something even more horrible soaked in. It had been premeditated. He was planning to kill her, even as they went out to dinner and a movie with friends that night."
Her only consolation was that the jury agreed. In September 1993, the jury deliberated for three hours before finding Einhorn guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced him to life in prison for the murder of Holly Maddux. DiBenedetto, by then Philadelphia's assistant D.A., renewed his vows to bring Einhorn back to American soil.
"He's still the arrogant, sarcastic jerk he was the day we found the body. He's all bullshit, a bum, a con man...a coward."
--former Philadelphia detective Mike Chitwood, on Ira Einhorn
On his 57th birthday, Ira Einhorn's luck finally ran out. DiBenedetto, with help from Interpol, had followed a paper trail of the Swedish woman whom Einhorn had married in 1982, and learned on May 15, 1997, that she had applied for a driver's license in France. She had told local authorities that her name was Annika Flodin Mallon and gave an address on the outskirts of Champagne-Mouton, southwest of Paris, as her new home.
Several French undercover officers, posing as tourists and fishermen, visited the quaint village and determined that Annika Flodin was indeed living in a restored mill with an American who generally fit Einhorn's description. The man, who was known locally as Eugene Mallon, said he was a writer. A bit thinner than he'd been in his glory days in Philadelphia, his hair was gray and cut shorter, the trademark bushy beard now only a stringy white goatee.
In the early morning hours of June 13, French authorities arrested Einhorn. Though he argued that some mistake had been made, a fingerprint comparison quickly proved he was, in fact, the fugitive for whom American authorities had been searching for 16 years.
Upon hearing the news that her sister's killer had been arrested, Buffy Hall took flowers to Holly's gravesite. "I cried and I told her, 'We finally got him,'" she remembers. "And I began looking forward to seeing him returned to the United States to serve his sentence."
However, neither the Maddux family nor the Philadelphia D.A.'s office anticipated the legal quagmire that would soon develop. Returning Einhorn to the U.S., they learned, would prove to be every bit as difficult as finding him had been. As the convicted killer sat in Bordeaux's Gradignan Prison, his French legal team prepared to argue that his American trial in absentia was in violation of the European Convention on Human Rights. Under French law, he would have to be given a new trial. Back in Pennsylvania, state statutes offered no such provision; Einhorn had already been convicted and thus should begin serving his long-delayed life sentence immediately upon his return. Lending weight to the legal logjam was the anti-American mindset of the French, who viewed the U.S. justice system, which included the death penalty they so strongly opposed, as patently cruel and often barbaric.
Twice, members of the Maddux family traveled to France in anticipation of hearings, only to learn after their arrival at the Bordeaux courthouse that the decision on Einhorn's fate had not yet been reached. What they did learn, however, was that the French press was not only skeptical but also highly suspicious of their reason for being there. "The general attitude," recalls Buffy Hall, "was one of not being able to understand how, after 20 years, we were even concerned. I had several reporters ask why we were still upset over the matter; why we didn't just put it behind us and move on. The opinion seemed to be that after such a long period of time Ira had certainly paid for whatever sins he committed and should be left alone.
"I think, in fact, that we were viewed as a pack of gunslingers from the Texas Old West, come to town to assassinate the man who had killed our sister. The French seemed bewildered by our presence, totally oblivious to the obscenity of what this man had done."
Finally, at a December hearing before the French Cour d'Appeal (Court of Appeals), the extradition request was denied since American authorities could not legally agree to a retrial. In a matter of minutes, Einhorn was released from custody. The only time Holly's name was even mentioned, brother John says, was when Ira walked to a microphone in front of the bench to say, "I did not kill Holly Maddux." And then, John remembers, Einhorn laughed.
The lone restriction on Einhorn's freedom was a demand that he report his whereabouts twice a week to authorities investigating the possibility that he had violated French immigration laws by entering the country on a false passport.
It was shortly before 4 a.m. on a Friday in Seattle when Meg Wakeman, unable to make another trip abroad because of her job, received news of the French court's decision. "Initially," she recalls, "I was shocked. Then I became angry. It occurred to me that in protecting Ira Einhorn's civil rights they had never even bothered to consider the civil rights of my sister. To that point I had been reluctant to really get involved in the matter. It was just too painful. But on the day they set him free, I decided to go into an activist mode. The whole family did."
"We got together," says Buffy Hall, "and came to a decision that we could do one of two things: We could roll over, or we could fight like hell. We decided on the latter."
Thus, while Einhorn and his wife shopped the markets in Champagne-Mouton, chatting with shopkeepers and smiling for news cameras and driving through town in their red Fiat, the Maddux family vowed to launch a campaign for justice that continues to this day. They began lobbying government officials from the White House to the State Department; they initiated a Web site (www.ourholly.org); and they sought the ear of any member of the media willing to hear their story of un-served justice. Supporters of their cause were urged to wear holly-shaped pins and ribbons as a reminder of their sister's murder.
They quickly found they were not without allies. In Pennsylvania, state legislators, citing news reports of France's judicial decision, voted to revise the law, clearing the way for Einhorn to be re-tried if returned to the U.S. A petition demanding the fugitive's extradition and signed by 5,000 Philadelphians was sent to French government officials. NBC's Dateline, 20/20, Unsolved Mysteries, and other television news shows from as far away as Germany reported on the nightmarish story that seemed to have no end. Network officials began plans to develop a made-for-TV movie based on Levy's book on the case.
Learning that Einhorn had contacted an American publisher about a book he was allegedly writing about the case, the Maddux family decided to file a civil suit, charging him with the wrongful death of their sister. After a two-day trial in the summer of 1999, Philadelphia jurors found Einhorn guilty and ordered that he pay a staggering $907 million in damages. "We never expect to see a penny of that," says John Maddux, "but the trial served its purpose. Part of the ruling was that he would not be allowed to profit in any way from Holly's murder. And, it sent a message to him that he was not going to be allowed to get away with what he did--and that we weren't going away."
In France, Einhorn did not respond to legal papers delivered to his home. But, in an interview with the syndicated talk show "Radio America," he told an interviewer that "I am innocent of the crime and will declare that until my dying breath."
It was in February 1999 that Buffy and sister Mary made yet another trip to France to attend a hearing on the requested extradition, this time accompanied by America's Most Wanted producer John Walsh, who planned to film still another show on the serpentine case.
"I was fully expecting to hear an unfavorable outcome," Buffy says, "so I'd prepared myself to be disappointed. All I had really hoped for was the opportunity to finally look Ira in the eye and let him know how I felt about him."
Again, she found, her memory had played tricks on her. "Oddly, my first thought upon seeing him was that he was not nearly as tall as I had remembered him to be. Over the years, I'd come to think of him as a much bigger man. What I finally saw, though, was just a short, fat guy with a really bad haircut."
At one point during the proceedings, in fact, Einhorn stood no more than five feet from her but for some time refused to even make eye contact. "Finally," she remembers, "he turned to me with this evil smile on his face, as if he already knew what the court's decision would be."
That smile soon vanished, however, when the judge ruled in favor of the extradition order. "I don't speak French," Buffy says, "and had no interpreter, so I didn't know what had happened until John Walsh leaned over and began hugging me, saying, 'You won. He's out of here.' All I can remember is bursting into tears."
The ruling specifically included the agreement by U.S. authorities that Einhorn would, upon returning to Philadelphia, be granted a new trial and that the death penalty would not be sought.
Though French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin finally signed the extradition papers last July, the victory has thus far been a hollow one. It was ruled that Einhorn could remain free while awaiting an appeal of the decision to the Conseil d'Etat (Council of State) and legal authorities in both France and the U.S. now anticipate that process will take two years, perhaps longer.
Thus, the long-running saga continues. Once encouraged by the court's ruling, Buffy Hall and John today gauge the chances of the now 60-year-old Einhorn being returned to a Philadelphia courtroom at "something like 80 percent--on good days."
"Who knows how long he and his lawyers can drag out the appeal process, what rabbits they can keep pulling out of the hat to keep him there," Buffy Hall says. "And, what concerns me even more is the very real possibility that once he sees things aren't going well for him, he will disappear again. I don't think anyone doubts that will happen."
Last spring in Philadelphia, a radio station noted that it was harvest season for family gardens and so sponsored an off-the-wall promotional contest. They asked listeners to submit tomatoes that bore a resemblance to the man once lionized as a counter-cultural hero in the city. All entries would ultimately be thrown at a life-sized picture of Einhorn provided by the station. The oddball show of distaste for the city's fallen hero received considerable publicity. Holly's sister Mary had even traveled from her Stockbridge, Massachusetts, home to attend.
"My guess is," Buffy says, "that when he got word of that kind of demonstration, frivolous though it might have been, it deeply bruised Ira's enormous ego. What they were doing was making fun of him--and that is something he could never tolerate."
Indeed, it must have had its effect. Following a recent--and again unsuccessful--attempt to convince the prime minister to reconsider extraditing him, Einhorn held a brief press conference. When a local reporter asked if he felt any compassion for the Maddux family, his reply was, "What I have to say about the Maddux family is: Let them eat tomatoes."
"That," says Philadelphia district attorney Lynne Abraham, "is a perfect example of the arrogance and unrepentance of Ira Einhorn."
For Buffy Hall and her siblings, it is Einhorn's attitude that now fuels their cause, energizing their determination to see justice done for a sister who, if still alive, would have recently celebrated her 50th birthday.
"We're human," John Maddux says. "We get discouraged and tired, but it seems that every time one of us gets down there's someone in the family there to lift us up." The Maddux siblings, he notes, lean upon each other a great deal.
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"We may not be all that strong individually," Buffy Hall says, "but we like to think we have great strength in numbers."
Time was, she says, that the only mental picture she could summon of her deceased sister was one burned into her memory during that long ago trial in Philadelphia. "All I could ever see was Holly lying dead in that trunk," she says. "But now, after a lot of therapy and passage of time, things are different. When I think of her now, I see her alive and laughing, pretty and happy. And that helps a great deal."
No longer do thoughts of Ira Einhorn monopolize her life. Retired from a career in nursing, she helps her husband, a financial administrator at UT-Arlington, tend the quarter horses they raise and show, and she serves on the board of a Fort Worth women's shelter.
She also delights in the simple pleasures of watching her own children grow. There is son Ian, 12, born shortly after her father's death. And a 16-year-old daughter. Named Holly.